Unto the Church at Corinth

Let’s see what the Lord might open up to us as we read along in I Corinthians 1.

I Corinthians 1:1 Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother...

Paul says that he is called to be an apostle. He is not going to claim any more than he has to. I guess it is pretty difficult to ever feel like you are fulfilling the calling that is on your life. You always feel like you come up short. But Paul says, “I am called to be an apostle.”

I Corinthians 1:2 Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints...

Just as Paul is called to be an apostle, those in the church are called to be saints. It is interesting that the Greek word for saints is the very same Greek word that is translated holy in Holy Spirit. To be called saints is the same as being called “to be holy ones.”

I Corinthians 1:2-3 ...with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:
3 Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

Paul’s ministry was a ministry of impartation. Everything he did and everything he said was an impartation of the Spirit of the Lord. So he is not just wishing grace for them, or peace, but he is imparting it to them when he says, “Grace unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.”

I Corinthians 1:4-8 I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you in Jesus Christ;
5 That in every thing you are enriched in Him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge;
6 Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you:
7 So that you come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming (parousia = revelation) of our Lord Jesus Christ:
8 Who shall also confirm you unto the end ...

The Greek word for “end” is telos, which means until the completed goal. Paul is talking about them being called to be holy ones. Now he is saying that God is going to bring them into the fulfillment of it.

I Corinthians 1:8-10 ...that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
9 God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
10 Now I beseech you, brethren, through the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

I’m doing a study in Jeremiah right now. In Matthew 16, Jesus and His disciples came into Caesarea and Jesus asked them, “Who do men say that I am?” They answered, “Some think You are John the Baptist. Some think You might be Elijah.” That is easy to understand. The ministry of John the Baptist wasn’t far removed from Jesus at that time. Everyone knew that it was prophesied that in the last days, the great day of the Lord, Elijah would come to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the children to their fathers (Malachi 4:5-6). But they also said, “Some people think You are Jeremiah.” That stood out to me. Why do they think Jesus could be Jeremiah? So I was reading in the first chapter of Jeremiah and I found out why they thought Jesus could be Jeremiah, because Jeremiah was a type of Christ. He was a type of the saints coming to a place where what they did and they what spoke were one and the same thing, which is a sign of Christ. Man in his own self may say one thing, but his actions and what he says do not always line up together. They usually don’t but when Christ speaks, what He says and what He does is an expression of God. It is an expression of what He is, what He does, what He says, and this was the ministry of Jeremiah, too. There were those who knew that, and they knew that in this day there would be a coming of the ministry of Jeremiah that would take place.

That is what Paul is talking about here in verse 10: Now I beseech you, brethren, through the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. That is a type of the ministry of Jeremiah who is going to tear down, throw down, destroy and then build and to plant (Jeremiah 1:10). Every negative thing is going to be dealt with and then the fullness of the Lord will come forth in His people.

I Corinthians 1:11 For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you.

Paul is saying, “I already know there is division among you.”

I Corinthians 1:12-13 Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.
13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?

Those divisions still remain in Christianity to a great extent today. Let’s believe for the divisions to be obliterated and a coming together of God’s people.

I Corinthians 1:14-18 I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius;
15 Lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name.
16 And I baptized also the household of Stephanas: besides, I know not whether I baptized any other.
17 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.
18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

That is so true. To the worldly person, the ministry of the cross is just plain foolishness. Who wants to be a part of that?

I Corinthians 1:19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.

That is definitely going to happen. There are so many “wise” right now, particularly in politics, those who know best. But it is going to be revealed as mere foolishness and the wisdom of the wise is going to be destroyed.

I Corinthians 1:20-21 Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this world? Hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?
21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

Since this is a true statement that it pleases God through the foolishness of preaching to save those who will believe, it tells us of the importance of speaking the Word. It is through the Word that things can happen. John 1:1 says: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. So it is through the Word that a person comes in contact with the Lord. We must not draw back from ministering the Word at the proper time because that is the way people will be drawn to the Lord.

I Corinthians 1:21-25 ...it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.
22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:
23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness;
24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.
25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

No matter how strong man seems to be, how knowledgeable or wise, if you have just a little bit of the Lord’s weakness you have more than man.

I Corinthians 1:26-27 For you see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:
27 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty...

So you just go right on in your foolishness and in your weak things, and you will confound the wise and the mighty.

I Corinthians 1:28-31 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:
29 That no flesh should glory in His presence.
30 But of Him are you in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:
31 That, according as it is written, He that glories, let him glory in the Lord.

That is important. Do you want to be special? Do you want to be thought well of? Need a pat on the back? No flesh is to receive glory in His presence. All the glory belongs to the Lord.

Copyright © 2009 by Henry DuBose